I'm in six inches of water by the time my doula arrives about 10:00 am. With Mom not having been able to make it as our primary midwife, she wants to clarify who's doing what. I assure her that the Cowboy has the midwife stuff covered - we're not asking her to catch the baby or cut the cord. I just really need her coaching.
More water, more water! I beg. My husband and our dear friend keep busy boiling water after the hot water is out.
I feel good letting my doula guide me. I hold her hand. Look in her steadying eyes. And I breath that this is hard! "Relax your jaw," she reminds. Then between the pressures, "Take deep cleansing breaths."
I draw on the Cowboy's quiet strength, hand in hand, my cheek against the scratch of whiskers. "I love you."
For a couple amazing contractions, I'm so focused, the doula doesn't seem to notice. I'm lost in the ripple of water.
It's hard. Being researched doesn't make the pressure easy. It's incredibly hard. Hard to embrace, to surrender to the massive energy.
I look up. My dear friend is sitting on the couch, head bowed.
I don't thinking about pushing, but focusing. Especially the pushing contractions are a tremendous wave of intense energy. Perhaps like a surfer, I can lean into the wave and ride it - or it will flatten me.
Like riding a spirited horse. Sometimes I get bucked off. Energy explodes in scream.
The Cowboy is right here.
"Okay," I signal another wave. I ride. It's a thrill. I feel the head moving down. Then I lose it and scream a lot. But I'm not scared. I know all is well.
Another thunderous wave. His head is totally in the canal. I can feel him there ready to make his grand entrance. "He's coming!"
Next push, he crowns. And I touch his amazing head. The Cowboy remains as steadfast as the mountains. (I must grant that even though I felt calm deep inside, I must have been quite a sight.)
I feel like turning around to a sitting position. Then with groaning but letting the tremendous energy work - there he is. My fingers stroke a webbed head, a perfect ear. Oh, glorious moment.
Then with excitement, I ride the energy. He wriggles into the water. I scoop him up, bringing him to the surface. I unwrap his precious cord and tuck him against my chest.
I look into eyes looking back at mine.